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Criterion's Eclipse line


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#1 of 60 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted December 14 2006 - 02:59 PM

It is getting announced tomorrow. It will be one lower priced boxed(?) set per month, from directors like Bergman, Malle, Ozu, Naruse... I am hugely exited!

Here is some detailed info from the Criterion blog:
Quote:
...We’re nine years into the DVD market, and there are still hundreds of important films that can only be seen in old VHS versions or, if you’re lucky enough to live in a town with a good repertory theater, a new print might come around once every ten years or so.

We want those films to be more readily available, and that’s why we’re creating Eclipse. Each month we’ll present a short series, usually three to five films, focusing on a particular director or theme. There will be no supplements and the master materials will be the best we can find, but they won’t be full Criterion restorations. Retail pricing for each set will average under $15 per disc, and we are examining the logistics of making the sets available at an even more favorable rate on a subscriber or club basis. The goal here is to make these films available, to make sure that Criterion’s own work style doesn’t contribute to the continuing unavailability of these films. Once our producers and restoration crew get started on a Criterion edition, the project takes on a life of its own. Months later, with a little luck, we’ll have something really special to show for it, but at that rate we can’t make a dent in the number of important unreleased films that we’d like people to be able to see.

The early films of Ingmar Bergman, the documentaries of Louis Malle—these are extraordinary and important films that are very hard to find outside the revival-house circuit. At the moment you’ll find more Mizoguchis in theaters (thanks to a traveling retrospective) than in the video store, and that’s certainly also true for Naruse, Ozu, and Imamura. While Criterion is working on new special editions of individual pictures by all of these filmmakers, at a rate of maybe one or two a year, we’ll never be able to represent the breadth of their bodies of work. Eclipse will help to fill that gap.
...

Hold on tightly, let go lightly.

 


#2 of 60 OFFLINE   Elijah Sullivan

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Posted December 14 2006 - 03:35 PM

Just when I thought Criterion couldn't get any cooler...

#3 of 60 OFFLINE   ted:r

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Posted December 14 2006 - 11:24 PM

Criterion and WB are the only companies out there who actually care for us DVD/movie enthusiasts.
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My 25 most wanted DVDs: Chilly Scenes Of Winter (1979); The Dead (1987); The African Queen (1951); Johnny Guitar (1954); The Sterile Cuckoo (1969); The Friends Of Eddie Coyle (1973); The Rain People (196...

#4 of 60 OFFLINE   Will*B

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Posted December 14 2006 - 11:58 PM

As well as all those mentioned, it would be wonderful if they could visit some of the slightly less popular Godard films such as Une femme mariée, Pierrot le fou, or maybe even Made in U.S.A....

Excellent news from Criterion.
 

 


#5 of 60 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted December 15 2006 - 01:47 AM

Maybe now Aki Kaurismaki will get the R1 recognition he deserves (with The Man Without a Past being the lone R1 exception). Posted Image

There's a lot of fine films in his catalogue that many around here would love.

If they did a five-film set:

Leningrad Cowboys Go America (a must, but they can skip the sequel)
Drifting Clouds (arguably the best of his films on Finnish life)
Bohemian Life (Kaurismaki does La Boheme, with a cast that includes Jean-Pierre Leaud, Louis Malle and Sam Fuller!)
Hamlet Goes Buisness (Kaurismaki meets Shakespeare)
and either the silent noir/tragedy Juha or the Godard-esque comedy Calamari Union

#6 of 60 OFFLINE   Jon Martin

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Posted December 15 2006 - 01:55 AM

Ok, this is amazing news.

#7 of 60 OFFLINE   Haggai

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Posted December 15 2006 - 02:29 AM

Definitely good news! The full-length Mizoguchi documentary from the '70s on the Ugestu DVD certainly whetted my appetite to see more of his movies. But with that being the only one of his movies released so far by Criterion, it might take about a decade just to get all the better known ones out there, on Criterion's regular schedule. And there were lots of great movies in the Naruse retrospective that I saw a lot of titles from earlier this year. They're releasing When a Woman Ascends the Stairs in February, which is excellent, but there were a lot of other very good to great movies I saw in that series that I'd love to have on DVD.

#8 of 60 OFFLINE   Martin Teller

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Posted December 15 2006 - 03:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveGon
Maybe now Aki Kaurismaki will get the R1 recognition he deserves (with The Man Without a Past being the lone R1 exception). Posted Image

There's a lot of fine films in his catalogue that many around here would love.

If they did a five-film set:

Leningrad Cowboys Go America (a must, but they can skip the sequel)
Drifting Clouds (arguably the best of his films on Finnish life)
Bohemian Life (Kaurismaki does La Boheme, with a cast that includes Jean-Pierre Leaud, Louis Malle and Sam Fuller!)
Hamlet Goes Buisness (Kaurismaki meets Shakespeare)
and either the silent noir/tragedy Juha or the Godard-esque comedy Calamari Union

Well, I haven't seen LCGA, Juha or Calamari Union, but I would demand The Match Factory Girl in there.

And yeah, more Mizoguchi would be awesome, although I'd prefer his more prominent films (Sansho, Oharu, Chrysanthemums) in full-blown Criterion editions.

#9 of 60 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted December 15 2006 - 03:14 AM

Quote:
Well, I haven't seen LCGA, Juha or Calamari Union, but I would demand The Match Factory Girl in there.

MFG would be my next choice in lieu of Drifting Clouds - I think the five films I listed would provide a well-rounded look at K's oeuvre. These are all highly entertaining and I could see them going over well.

#10 of 60 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted December 15 2006 - 03:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Teller
And yeah, more Mizoguchi would be awesome, although I'd prefer his more prominent films (Sansho, Oharu, Chrysanthemums) in full-blown Criterion editions.
Sansho Dayu was shown in a beautifully restored print at the NY Film Festival Janus retro this year, so I think that a full blown Criterion is guaranteed and soon.

Criterion is also sitting on a large number of Truffaut films (I think they got the rights to all the Fox-Lorbers) and most of Malle's films.

And I am hoping they will grab the rights to as much Rivette as possible, starting with Out 1 and L'Amour Fou which have no DVD releases anywhere, and Jeanne La Pucelle which has only a truly lamentable one.

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Hold on tightly, let go lightly.

 


#11 of 60 OFFLINE   Jon Martin

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Posted December 15 2006 - 04:00 AM

The great thing here is the $15 price point. And, the whole subscriber or club program could be very interesting. Sort of the Book of the Month club for DVDs.

#12 of 60 OFFLINE   Adam_S

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Posted December 15 2006 - 05:15 AM

so if most sets are three discs, that's probably about an MSRP of $50 or retailing at about 40-45. I can dig that.

I can see a lot of initial sets being about 3 discs in size so criterion can test the waters to see what demand is actually there for Truffaut and Ozu and others. Kurosawa is so popular and profitable for them I doubt we'll ever see him in Eclipse.

So let's see:
Bergman
Truffaut
Ozu
Mizoguchi
Naruse
Malle
Imamuri
Godard
Fassbinder
Herzog
Antonioni
Bunuel
Clair
De Mille (silents?)
Eisenstein (sounds?)
Powell (early stuff?)
Ford (silents?)
Fuller
Hitchcock (silents & the bad England sound flicks?)
Micheaux
Renoir
Visconti
Woo
Marker

who else has a lot of unreleased films and a body of work interesting to the fringes of film buffs?

Eclipse could also release Porter, Griffith, Lumiere, etc to compete with Kino...
 

#13 of 60 OFFLINE   seanOhara

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Posted December 15 2006 - 06:59 AM

Quote:
who else has a lot of unreleased films and a body of work interesting to the fringes of film buffs?

How about Siodmak's German films?

I also hope we'll see some sets of samurai films.

Quote:
who else has a lot of unreleased films and a body of work interesting to the fringes of film buffs?

How about Siodmak's German films?

I also hope we'll see some sets of samurai films.
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#14 of 60 OFFLINE   Martin Teller

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Posted December 15 2006 - 07:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam_S
so if most sets are three discs, that's probably about an MSRP of $50 or retailing at about 40-45. I can dig that.

I can see a lot of initial sets being about 3 discs in size so criterion can test the waters to see what demand is actually there for Truffaut and Ozu and others. Kurosawa is so popular and profitable for them I doubt we'll ever see him in Eclipse.

So let's see:
Bergman
Truffaut
Ozu
Mizoguchi
Naruse
Malle
Imamuri
Godard
Fassbinder
Herzog
Antonioni
Bunuel
Clair
De Mille (silents?)
Eisenstein (sounds?)
Powell (early stuff?)
Ford (silents?)
Fuller
Hitchcock (silents & the bad England sound flicks?)
Micheaux
Renoir
Visconti
Woo
Marker

who else has a lot of unreleased films and a body of work interesting to the fringes of film buffs?

Kon Ichikawa
Hsiao-hsien Hou
Shunji Iwai
Ermanno Olmi (I dunno what else by him is noteworthy, but I like what I've seen)

And for the love of god, SATYAJIT RAY. The Apu Trilogy DVDs are awful (and out of print, I think) and there are tons of wonderful films not yet released: Charulata, Mahanagar, Devi, etc.

#15 of 60 OFFLINE   mike kaminski

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Posted December 15 2006 - 07:40 AM

Wow, this is very exciting news indeed!

I am hoping that the prints they get are not too badly damaged though--without any type of restoration, some of them can be pretty bad to watch.

#16 of 60 OFFLINE   Ravi K

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Posted December 15 2006 - 07:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Teller
And for the love of god, SATYAJIT RAY. The Apu Trilogy DVDs are awful (and out of print, I think) and there are tons of wonderful films not yet released: Charulata, Mahanagar, Devi, etc.

Artificial Eye in the UK released very good DVDs of the Apu Trilogy. I believe they were taken from HD masters, so Criterion could use these. And they include a few pretty good extras, though some commentaries would be welcome. Columbia totally f***ed up their region 1 discs.

Eureka released a DVD of Abhijan. That's it for Ray on DVD, aside from some pirated Indian discs that are roughly VHS/VCD quality.
 

#17 of 60 OFFLINE   Adam_S

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Posted December 15 2006 - 08:33 AM

what I imagine will happen (in terms of restoration) is that Criterion will run a wet gate transfer of the best film print they have to create a fine grain master positive--this is the easiest and cheapest way to fill in scratches and other minor damage. Then they'll scan it into an HD Master, probably only at 2k for Eclipse to save money and long term storage space. Then they'll run it through their MTI restoration programs only on automatic mode, but no manual labor on the films will be performed--so no frame by frame fixes. Some minor color correction and density proofing may be performed when the film is downrezzed to dvd resolution and some bad splices could be adjusted, in other words those minor manual fixes would be three days to one week of work (for a semi-decent) AE per film. The films won't look pristine but they'll still be better than old VHS transfers of worn out circulation prints.

But I wouldn't expect them to bring in a $500/hour colorist to work for a month shot by shot perfecting a clone of the HD transfer for all future formats. Posted Image

Adam (who works in a Post house)
 

#18 of 60 OFFLINE   Mark_TS

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Posted December 15 2006 - 09:30 AM

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#19 of 60 OFFLINE   Jon Martin

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Posted December 15 2006 - 09:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Teller
Ermanno Olmi (I dunno what else by him is noteworthy, but I like what I've seen)


There was a tour of his films a few months before Criterion released their two films of his, so there are quite a few out there, that have barely been shown in the US. I would think that the new line would consider them.

#20 of 60 OFFLINE   Bill McA

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Posted December 15 2006 - 11:50 AM

I hope that they don't go the same route as Home Vision Entertainment did, by only providing subtitles for non-English language films.

English subtitles for every film, please!!
       


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